Jenny Frost: 'People think I'm mad, but my success is down to the angels'
As a member of Atomic Kitten, Jenny Frost enjoyed a glamorous jet-set life. Now a mum of three, she tells Gabrielle Fagan her life revolves around her family, and how she's guided by spiritual guardians.
Former Atomic Kitten star Jenny Frost has good reason to thank her lucky stars about the way life has worked out - a handsome husband, three beautiful children, and a home on a sun-kissed holiday island.
In fact, the pop star-turned-TV presenter doesn't put her enviable domestic bliss down to luck at all - instead she credits the power of guardian angels she believes watch over her all the time.
"I'm a great believer in angels who I know are there for me whenever I'm down, need reassurance, guidance or to add to my joy when times are good. The proof is finding white feathers in the most unexpected places. They are their sign, their calling cards if you like, and they've helped me find my way in life," says the 36-year-old, who's among many celebrities open about their faith in celestial helpers.
Northern Irish TV presenter Gloria Hunniford believes white feathers are sent to her by her daughter, Caron, who died in 2004 aged 41; actress and Bond star Gemma Arterton has described her deceased grandmother as a 'guardian angel' helping guide her career, while Hollywood star Denzel Washington has spoken of seeing an angel.
Both footballer Wayne Rooney and David Beckham have tattoos of guardian angels, and Victoria Beckham says she and her husband wear matching guardian angel necklaces. But believers aren't confined to the rich and well-known. A survey two years ago revealed that 31% of Britons - and 41% of British women - have faith in angels.
Although cynics may dismiss the whole thing as fanciful, down-to-earth Frost, who's led a far from sheltered life following a tough childhood and dealing with the competitive world of showbusiness, is unshakeable in her conviction.
"I know it's unbelievable, really bizarre and people think I'm mad. They're always trying to tell me the feathers come from pillows. That's actually impossible because of the places I've found them in. Anyway, other people's disbelief doesn't worry me or give me any doubts. I've studied this and know they are looking down on me," declares Frost, as she chats at the luxury seven-bedroom villa in Ibiza which she shares with her Spanish husband of three years, Vicente Juan Spiteri, who owns a scuba diving school, their two-year-old twin daughters, Blake and Nico, and her seven-year-old son, Caspar, from a previous relationship.
It's a contentment she craved, but a few years ago feared she wouldn't find. In 2010, she suffered the trauma of her mother Rita's sudden death from lung cancer aged 60, and subsequently she broke up with DJ Dominic Thrupp, to whom she was engaged for eight years and who is the father of her son.
Her mother's death, she says, proved the catalyst for change and further reinforced her belief in angels.
"Mum dying made me realise I wasn't living the life I should be living and I had to completely turn things around, which wasn't an easy decision," says Frost who has angel and feather tattoos as well as a collection of white feathers she's found over the years.
"I was at a very low ebb when I left London and moved to Manchester. One day out shopping, I felt really alone and a heavy weight of responsibility on my shoulders. For no reason, I just felt it suddenly lift and the thought, 'You've done the right thing for yourself and Caspar' came to me. As it did, I literally looked down and saw a big white feather in the trolley.
"I've got a few guardian angels and mum's my chief one and I knew that was a sign from her telling me I would be okay. They appear whenever I'm missing her or wondering if I'm on the right path - sure enough a feather comes fluttering down."
Shortly after that, she found romance with Spiteri, whom she had known through friends.
"We all think about what we'd like to have if we won the Lottery but I feel pretty blessed already. I have a spectacular husband, who's a great father, and three healthy, happy children. It would be ungrateful to want more."
There's only one hint of sadness - she still struggles to come to terms with the loss of her mother.
"My childhood was far from perfect and mum made lots of mistakes as a parent but she made up for them tenfold when she became a grandma. She was amazing with Caspar and it breaks my heart that she didn't see the girls.
"That made it doubly hard to lose her in a way and I still miss her every day," she confesses quietly.
Frost, a presenter on shows such as Snog Marry Avoid? and a competitor in 2005 in I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!, has made her young family her priority over the last few years, but is eager to re-launch her career this year.
But she didn't need heavenly guidance when it came to deciding whether to reunite with Atomic Kitten. Kerry Katona, who Frost replaced when she left the group in 2001, and her former bandmates Natasha Hamilton and Liz McClarnon, are marking the 15th anniversary of their debut album Right Now with a greatest hits tour this summer.
The trio reunited in 2013 for ITV's documentary, The Big Reunion, but Frost was pregnant with the twins at the time and couldn't take part.
"I didn't want to go back to Atomic Kitten - literally I feel I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt, and that was another time in my life," says Frost.
"All of us are still in touch and there are no problems between us, but we've gone our separate ways. Of course, I loved being in Atomic Kitten, which was a blast and I had the time of my life. Actually my only regret is that I didn't appreciate it more at the time, but then we were young girls on tour, wrapped up in a bubble, and full of self-importance.
"Nowadays I'm enjoying the freedom to pick and choose what I want to do. It's not ideal for work, living on an island, but the huge compensation is it's a wonderful place to bring up the children, and I do travel back to the UK for commitments. I have some presenting gigs in the pipeline.
"I feel the children's childhood is precious and I want to enjoy that and be there for them and my husband. So it's all about getting a balance and working when I can."
Frost, who's supporting Simplyhealth, which offers health cash plans to help individuals and families budget for everyday healthcare costs such as visits to the dentist and optician, says: "It's lucky that I'm blessed with slim genes because I hate exercise, love wine, cheese and chocolate, and have no willpower, so I had to find things which worked for me," she says honestly.
"Rushing around after the children keeps me constantly on my toes and going for long walks with them is part of my day.
"I've started going to pilates classes three times a week which makes me feel good mentally and physically."
While Frost is patently happy to accept help from her guardian angels, it's clear she believes she's also master of her own future. "I think you make your own destiny and you learn from tough times.
"What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger in my view. I'm just looking forward to the future and will cope with whatever it brings."
Gloria's belief that Caron watches over her
Following the tragic death of former Blue Peter presenter Caron Keating from cancer in 2004, Portadown-born television presenter Gloria Hunniford has spoken of her belief that her daughter still sends her messages, often in the form of white feathers.
"When she was alive, Caron ... told me that an isolated white feather was an angel's calling card," Gloria recently wrote in a national newspaper. "And since her death, I am certain that she uses them to send messages to me.
"I am convinced that Caron has been my guardian angel. People may think I am deluded, but I know she is there for me, protecting and comforting me whenever I need her most."
Gloria also gave examples of the contact she receives from Caron, such as finding a white feather under her doormat after her husband Stephen had suffered a heart attack over two years ago.
She also recalls a white feather landing on her shoe while on a day trip with Caron's young sons less than a year after her death, and later another one during a family holiday with her grandsons.